Ancient Oak Cellars Names Kent Barthman as Winemaker

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Ancient Oak Cellars, boutique producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County California, has named Kent Barthman as Winemaker. Kent will shepherd the winery's expanding portfolio of wines, including soon-to-be-released Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Alexander Valley and Sonoma Mountain, and a Zinfandel from Russian River Valley.

Kent brings decades of experience with both Bordeaux and Burgundian varietals in premium lables. In his early years of winemaking, Kent sought out and received mentoring from Andre Tchelistcheff, the "Dean of American Winemakers." Kent has previously served as winemaker for Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa Valley, among others. He will continue to consult internationally for clients in Hungary and others in the United States.

"Ancient Oak is excited to have a winemaker with Kent's experience and legacy," said Melissa Moholt-Siebert, Co-Owner of Ancient Oak Cellars with her husband, Ken. "We look forward to continuing and refining our small-lot Pinot Noir and Chardonnnay wines, and are especially excited about making some awesome Cab Varietals from our Sonoma Mountain Vineyard and the Warnecke Ranch in Alexander Valley."

"I've had the honor of working with some truly great people in the wine world and some fantastic places in Napa and Sonoma Counties over many years," says Barthman. "I've seen just about every winemaking style. But what it all comes down to is the right vineyard on the right site, the passion to make the best wine possible, and the wisdom to let the grapes speak for themselves. Ken and Melissa work the vineyards themselves, and they have wonderful hillside vineyards with great fruit concentration. I think together we will make some of the best wines of my career."

Ancient Oak Cellars was started by Melissa and Ken Moholt-Siebert in 2006 with about 200 cases, using fruit from the vineyard Ken's grandfather planted and where Melissa and Ken now live. They named the winery after the large oak in the center of the property, which has seen vineyards planted, torn out in Prohibition, and replanted again. The winery has produced small-lot Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Russian River Valley and has added new vineyards, especially Cabernet vineyards, to the program in recent years. The winery currently produces about 5000 cases of wine, primarily from estate fruit in Russian River Valley and Sonoma Mountain AVAs, with additional fruit from long-term contracts with Warnecke Ranch and Vineyard in Alexander Valley and select vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The winery also produces wine under a second label, 47Friends.

Media Contact: Melissa Moholt-Siebert, Ancient Oak Cellars, 707-836-3099,

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SOURCE Ancient Oak Cellars



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